Postcard from Brazil
Ania Vesenny

When I was twenty-nine I was in love with a man the size of my hand. I was married then, and loving two men was exhausting. Late at night I'd wait for my husband to roll away from me, and I'd sneak into the downstairs closet where I kept Fernando among my summer straw hats.
I'd find him naked. His skin was covered with fuzz. He'd stand with his back to me, teasing. His buttocks always looked like a peach, bigger than I'd imagined.
My husband bought me pregnancy tests -- he thought I was too tired, looked pale for no reason. He brought me lemonade to bed, and told me to just pee on the stick. He didn't know I spent the nights with the peach-man. One night Fernando wasn't there. I looked everywhere for him.
When my husband rolled away from me the next night, there was nowhere for me to go. I thought about getting up and eating an apple, or maybe looking through my hats again, but my eyelids grew heavy and I fell asleep. A week later a postcard with a toucan arrived from Brazil. The handwriting was small, and I didn't have a magnifying glass, so I just stuck it to the wall above my computer screen. I told my husband it was from my friend Lola, who was actually still in Vancouver, but she wanted to travel around the world after finishing her Ph.D. in ornithology.
When we sold the house I put the toucan postcard with other things I thought I'd need one day -- my husband's love notes, a rain check for organic baking soda, my expired driver's license, and a bunch of postcards from Lola who hadn't finished her Ph.D., but who was living in Paris, sixth floor, no elevator, with her thesis advisor. I had all of this rubber banded in a square cookie tin, and I meant to look at the postcard again, to try to decipher the straight strings that looked like black army ants.
When my husband died I even wiped the dust off the box, and held it in my hands. But the lid wouldn't open easily, and I didn't feel like making any efforts.